Are you considering moving or retiring abroad and looking for a cheap, friendly and chill country to make your new home? Look no further than Chile!
After living for over 8 months in Chile as a digital nomad, I decided to share with you the main reasons why this country is such an amazing one to move to or retire to.
I actually believe that this South American gem is one of the best expatriate destinations, yet often overlooked.
It is cheap, it has some stunning natural landscapes that you will fall in love with and some of the most welcoming people I have ever seen.
Chile is simply amazing and in this blog post, I’ll be sharing the top 10 reasons why Chile should be at the top of your list too.
Why you should move or retire to Chile
Why is Chile such a fantastic place to live or retire? (Or at least visit extensively)
First and foremost, Chile boasts a truly remarkable climate. With its long and narrow shape, the country stretches over 4,300 km from North to South, providing a wide range of landscapes and climates, so it’s impossible not to find what you’re looking for.
Also, sea views will easily become possible if you move here, as the entire country stretches across the South Pacific Ocean’s coast.
So no matter if you prefer a warmer or cooler climate, you can find it in Chile. This is also a country that gets plenty of sunshine all year long, making it perfect for the more outdoorsy people, as well as those who are not fans of the dark, gloomy skies (who is a fan of those, really?)
Retiring to Chile is particularly appealing due to its tax-friendly policies. Foreign retirement benefits, pensions, and social security payments are not subject to personal income tax.
Additionally, foreign sourced income is income tax-free for the first three years of residency, with potential extensions.
But this is just scratching the surface – so let’s get to the actual list of the 10 reasons why Chile is amazing for you!
10 Reasons Why Chile Is the Perfect Destination for Expats
If the main presentation above still hasn’t convinced you, there is more to read. I fell in love with Chile instantly and I am sure you will too. Here is why:
1. Strong and Sustainable Economy
This might come as a surprise to some, but Chile managed to weather the global economic storm pretty well, unlike many other countries out there.
Despite the natural slowdown caused by the world’s economic issues, and despite the fact that the country was indeed affected by the global inflation, Chile continues to enjoy a relatively fast pace of growth, making it an attractive country to be in – one that offers, or at least seems to be able to offer, stability.
2. Exceptional Healthcare Facilities
I was surprised to learn that most senior doctors here have an international education – but even what they learn locally is also high standard and quality.
The actual cost of accessing private healthcare in Chile is dirt cheap compared with prices in America, especially, but also other countries out there. Prices are super low and the quality of the services offered is really high.
3. Affordable Medical Insurance
Apart from the cheap private healthcare options, people choosing to move to Chile will be surprised with the affordability of medical insurance here.
That is a great thing to consider, especially as none of us is getting any younger and medical insurance is a must.
4. Tax-Free Retirement Benefits
Chile levies no personal income tax on foreign retirement benefits, pensions, and social security payments. This means that it is legitimately possible to retire tax-free to Chile. An amazing bonus!
5. Income Tax-Free for First Three Years
Foreign sourced income other than that discussed above in point 4 is income tax-free in Chile for the first three years of an expat’s residency – with special extensions of this waiver sometimes being granted by the tax authority.
This is a nice bonus – and either enough time for you to find a new place that gives you similar benefits or just enough to make your stay here more enjoyable.
6. Straightforward Residency Process
Gaining temporary and then permanent residency in Chile is straightforward and relatively easy. I will have a full guide to that published on the blog soon, but I will cover the basics below.
Basically, if you own real estate in Chile, and/or receive a regular income from investments, pensions or work, these things will all work in your favor and make the process of getting your Chilean residency for long term stays easy.
7. Safe and Stable Political System
Chile is generally internationally regarded as being safe with a stable political system. The people are generally moderate and liberal in their way of thinking, and it ranks well in terms of transparency and lack of corruption.
It’s still a South American country with its fair share of problems – I’m not saying that everything is perfect here – but it is safe and for the general person, the random acts of corruption and problems won’t really matter or seem evident at all.
Overall, I would consider this country a safe one to live in (in terms of crime rates also), unlike Columbia where I got robbed in Bogota, for example.
8. Affordable Cost of Living
The cost of living a nice life in Chile is extremely affordable if you compare it with the cost of living in the US, Canada, Australia or more expensive European countries such as Denmark, Sweden and such.
Sure, it’s not one of the countries where you can live on $500 per month, but your dollars will get you much farther than in most places I know.
Expats and retirees find they can live comfortably on their foreign sourced pension, and if you earn an income outside of the local economy, you may find yourself regarded as a ‘Chileanaire!’
9. Varied Climate
As mentioned before, depending on where you chose to live in Chile, you can access a desert-like climate in the north, a temperate and wonderful Mediterranean climate in the middle, and a cool, damp climate if you head far south.
In other words, Chile is one of those amazing countries that has something for everyone in terms of its weather and its stunning scenery!
10. Excellent Natural Beauty and Amazing People
Retiring to Chile offers a unique opportunity to experience the best of both worlds – a bustling urban environment and untouched natural beauty.
What truly sets Chile apart is its stunning natural scenery, which spans from the vast expanse of the Atacama Desert to the towering peaks of the Andes Mountains.
For retirees looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, rural Chile offers a serene and picturesque environment. With its untouched landscapes and unspoiled natural beauty, rural Chile is the perfect place to get off the beaten track and explore the great outdoors.
In addition to its natural beauty, Chile is also known for its friendly and welcoming people.
Chileans are proud of their country’s rich history and culture, and they are always eager to share it with visitors.
Retirees will find that they are warmly welcomed into local communities and can quickly make new friends. Plus, there will always be plenty of expats to meet if you can’t really hit it off with the locals.
Chile is an incredible option for expats and retirees. I consider it one of the best countries to live in – especially if you get your income from outside the country, as your dollars (or whatever else currency) will mean a lot more there.
It’s a country that’s worth exploring at least so you can decide for yourself if it’s indeed your type of country.
Just make sure you choose the area that fits your demands better (in terms of weather, I mean) and hop into a plane with the destination: Chile. You will love it!
Editor’s note: This article was written by my friend and long time digital nomad, Catalin from mychileadventure.com. In the mean time, he stopped blogging and moved on to explore the South East Asia region.